Men's basketball team holds on for victory at Orange Coast

Courtesy of On My Game Photography
Courtesy of On My Game Photography

Irvine Valley's men's basketball team held on down the stretch at Orange Coast to earn its second win in Orange Empire Conference action on Friday night.

The Lasers pulled out a tough 83-81 victory.

Freshman forward Sadiq Muhammad led the Lasers with 18 points, while sophomore guard Kevin Olsen added 15 points and five assists, sophomore guard Geoff Salas tossed in 13 points and freshman guard Christian Louis contributed 11 points.

Jonathan Ileleji had 25 points, Leonard Stallings finished with 24 points and Kekai Smith had 21 points for Orange Coast.

Orange Coast led, 40-36 at the half, but IVC came out and used a 24-9 run over the first 10 minutes of the second half to grab an 11-point lead at 60-49.

OCC went on a 17-5 run to grab a 66-65 advantage with 7:19 left before IVC answered right back with an 8-0 spurt to regain a seven-point edge just two minutes later.

With Irvine Valley holding an 82-77 lead with 22 seconds remaining, OCC used a Malik Skillern layup and a pair of made free throws by Ileleji to get to within a point at 82-81.

IVC sophomore guard Isaiah Mahmud was quickly fouled for Irvine Valley and he made one of his two shots from the free-throw line to make it a 83-81 game.

Coast missed out on a chance to tie the game, but with one second left, a long inbound pass by IVC hit the roof of the gym, giving OCC the ball back with one final chance.

Skillern got off a sideline three-pointer just before the buzzer went off, but the ball rang off of the back iron, preserving the win for the Lasers.

Mahmud and sophomore guard DeVon Lamar each added eight points for IVC in the win.

Irvine Valley shot an impressive 65.1 percent (28 of 43) from the field, but hurt itself in the contest with 12 missed free throws and 22 turnovers.

IVC, which improved its record to 5-18 overall and 2-5 in conference, returns to action next Wednesday, playing at No. 4 Fullerton at 5 p.m.

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